China vows closer ties with Pacific Island countries

2018 Pacific Islands Forum leaders meeting group photo ( Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat)


BEIJING — State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Oct 21 that China is willing to work with Pacific Island countries for a closer comprehensive strategic partnership.

Wang made the remarks while chairing the first China-Pacific Island Countries Foreign Ministers’ Meeting via video link.

Wang said the relations between China and Pacific Island countries have set a good example of friendly exchanges, solidarity, and cooperation between countries of different regions, sizes, and systems.

He called for further deepening policy communication, promoting mutual understanding and support on issues concerning each other’s core interests and major concerns, and establishing a mechanism for regular foreign ministers’ meetings between China and Pacific Island countries.

Wang said that China will continue to provide vaccines and various anti-epidemic materials to island countries, establish a China-Pacific Island Countries reserve of emergency supplies, and inject additional capital into the fund which provides support to China and Pacific Island countries to fight against the pandemic.

China will continue providing economic and technical assistance to island countries with no political conditions attached, Wang said.

A forum on fishery cooperation and development between China and Pacific Island countries will be held within the year, and a cooperation center on poverty reduction and development will be established to help the island countries accelerate their independent and sustainable development, he added.

On climate change cooperation, Wang said China has decided to establish a cooperation center for China and Pacific Island countries on climate change, supports the island countries’ blue Pacific initiative, and will continue to fund the Pacific Regional Environment Programme.

China calls for an open, transparent, and responsible manner to prudently deal with the disposal of contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan, and the discharge shall not be started until an agreement is reached with all stakeholders, Wang said.

He said China will also expand exchanges and cooperation with Pacific Island countries in the fields of education, culture, health, and sports.

Wang noted that the nuclear submarine cooperation between the United States, Britain, and Australia will bring nuclear proliferation risks, trigger an arms race, and undermine regional peace and stability.

China is willing to work with the island countries to jointly uphold the international non-proliferation regime with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as its cornerstone and the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone.

Foreign ministers and representatives from Kiribati, Fiji, Tonga, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, the Federated States of Micronesia, Solomon Islands, Samoa, as well as Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum, attended the meeting.

Representatives of participating island countries expressed their gratitude to China for its long-term help and support, congratulated the Communist Party of China on its founding centenary, and reaffirmed their firm adherence to the one-China principle.

They also expressed their willingness to support China’s Global Development Initiative, deepen cooperation on the Belt and Road, and promote the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two sides to a new level.


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